METAMORPHOSIS OF HISTORY AND THE POWER OF PLACES
Aquamediale, 21 July, 2015
Metamorphosis of History and the Power of Places
Art installations, The Pink Wall Memorial & The Amorous Pink Sheeps, by Marco Evaristti
What is History and what do we remember? History teaches us who we are. We learn from the past. And we understand the time we live in by understanding the past. However, the past, History, is written by the winner. It is a construction. So at the end of the day, the question we need to ask is: what really happened, what do we need to remember, and how do we remember it?
When Danish artist Marco Evaristti came to Spreewald for the first time to prepare for the Aquamediale 2015 he was overwhelmed by two immediate impressions: One was the beauty of the surrounding Nature; the other was a small parking lot in the small town of Lübben south of Berlin. Or rather a red brick wall half-ways covered by a freely growing wine, to the one end of the parking lot. The wall barely draws any attention to it self. On a daily basis people come, park their car, leave, come back, pick up the car and leave again. But should you pay attention to the wall, it takes no more than a second to discover how part of it is covered with bullet holes.
Those two impressions were what Marco Evaristti chose to work with for the Aquamediale, and under the flag of his Utopian state, Pink State, Evaristti chose to mark the bullet-holed wall, as well as place two pink sheep on the Island of Love, Liebes Insel.
Marco Evaristti explains:
”Places serve that special ability, that they in one way or the other bare witness to what happened. And standing face to face with the wall, History confronts you. Sound of gun-shots appeared for my inner ear, the height of the holes in the wall had me seeing the condemned being forced to kneel before getting executed. Of course I am only guessing. I don´t even know who killed who here. But the wall is old, so are the holes, I am of Jewish origin, this is Germany and standing here gives me the chills. Also I couldn´t help thinking ”how can such a place that apparently has been witness to such attrocities just be a common parking lot?” That made me wonder about how History is often created and constructed out of somebody´s intent. We know that History is written by the winner. And in that way the stories that are remembered, celebrated and written down are all a result of a choice of selection. Historical points of interests - places, people, events – are chosen and honoured with everything from a small brass sign, a statue of an important person to monuments over certain events. All by choice of the winner.
This wall in the heart of Lübben on an insignificant parking lot speaks louder than any words or monuments. It is honest. It hasn´t been repaired or taken down. It stands today, with all the signs of a violent past. And in its honesty it reveals the truth: how their are no winners.
With my installation I choose to honour this wall. As an honest, un-retouched sign of History, giving all kinds of associations and most importantly – giving us who stands here before it today the chills leading to remind us, that at the end of the day, there are no winners. Only holes in a wall.
With my pink painted grid, I declare this wall a part of Pink State to always remind us of the three main values in life:
- be good to your self
- be good to others
- and be good to Nature
On the Island of Love the celebration of these important rules continue when I invite mr. and mrs. Pink Sheep to share and spread love.”
In the meantime Pink State also manifested it self in the fountain on the central square of the small town. Here in front of the town´s main bakery, the city hall and the church, the water was coloured pink twice during the art festival.
This colouring of fountains is related to Evaristti´s large-scale Nature colourings, that started in 2004 when he painted an iceberg red in Greenland. Later he transformed the summit of Mont Blanc to Mont Rouge, painted a sand dune in the Sahara and a frozen water fall in Norway. Latest in the spring of 2015 it was an Icelandic geysir that bursted pink water. Adding colour to fountains was something Evaristti did for the first time in Johannesburg in 2003, and then again on Election Day in Denmark in June 2015. In a synchronised action that took place at 4:30, main fountains across the entire country were painted pink, letting the Danes wake up to this new sight. As a hommage to democracy, but first and foremost initiated as the artist´s reaction to an election campaign, that more than too clearly had revealed a harsh language and an immense xenophobia towards foreigners seeking refuge from the world´s hotspots.
By marking Nature with his red fruit colour, Evaristti seeks to create reminders of paying attention to what we have, and to take well care of it. Always beholding the Pink State mantra of being good to one self, others and Nature.
Election Day, 18 June, 2015
At 04:30 this morning fountains across Denmark were coloured pink by artist Marco Evaristti, thus givng the country a gift to wake up to on Election Day – the day of celebrating democracy.
Pink State is an art concept that took it´s beginning 10 years ago when Evaristti painted an iceberg in Greenland red. Since then he has transformed various unique pieces of Nature with his red fruit colour, marking the land, declaring it Pink State, thus letting Pink State materialize it self, even if just for as long as the colour stays.
What is Pink State then? Pink State is a state of mind, based on three values put down as some of the first articles in the state´s Constitution:
- be good to your self
- be good to others
- and be good to Nature
Until now Pink State has put the spot light on Nature.
We have a tendency to turn blind to the needs of Nature. In many aspects we take Nature for granted, but the colouring forces us to stop, look, think.
The same goes for the way we speak to eachother. We turn deaf to bad habits and the ugliness of the language if we don´t stop, listen, think.
After the past weeks of campaigning, the way this country´s leaders speak to eachother, and the manner various groups of people are talked about, is ugly.
Pink State again wishes to have us stop for a second and reflect. Like Nature we have a beautiful democracy. Today, on election day, Pink State reminds us to celebrate this and to handle it with care.
THE RAUÐUR THERMAL PROJECT
Iceland, April 24, 2015
PINK STATE – Greenland, Mont Blanc, Sahara, Norway - now Iceland – Pink State has materialised again!
The 5th Pink State, The Rauður Thermal Project, has seen the light of day. This morning the utopian state of Pink State claimed as it´s new territory the magnificent Strokkur Geysir in Iceland.
”The beauty of the Nature keeps overwhelming me. When I decorate the Nature – when I make landscape paintings in and on the landscape - I can´t think of a more beautiful motive and canvas in one.”
Pink State claims its territory, and just as soon backs away from it. The state is temporary – it lasts only as long as the colour it self.
Previous Pink States are: